United States, Ca... "U4ia-Internet Dating Site with a Personal Touch The company, a California corporation, is seeking an Angel Investor/Partner for site expansion. Executive Summary U4ia.org is a startup internet dating site targeted at all relationship types, including alternative lifestyles, affairs, traditional relationships and the lesbian and gay community. The main distinction between U4ia and other dating sites on the net is our commitment to making sure that our members are meeting real people. A visitor will not receive any autoreplies inviting them to a pornographic site, nor will they be solicited by someone offering illegal services. This has been, and continues to be a source of frustration for the dating populace online, and we feel that by maintaining a standard of sincerity, our site will be able to retain more members for a longer period of time. The site has been live for approximately three months and has attracted 2500 members. The site runs on an asp platform with links to the major search engines that are just now becoming live. Thus far the primary advertising method to attract members has been in the form of posts to newsgroups, message boards, and mailing lists. The mailing lists were generated by the company by introducing the website prelaunch in different chat rooms, by placing personals ads on other sites, and by compiling lists of interested responders. U4ia uses a comprehensive application that is personally reviewed by staff. We do not sell the names of our members, and they are provided with confidential onsite mailboxes to help protect their privacy. To restate, our goal is to ensure that our members are real people and to protect our members from pornography, solicitation and false advertising. We actually reject about 40% of applications because the profiles represent illegal activities, the respondents represent other websites or we detect potentially site abusive members. Our strategy is to be the premier online dating site by providing a place for real people to meet without being overwhelmed by advertising and solicitations. We want to create a full dating community, partnering with a travel agency for member use, as well as offering merchandise. We believe that this “back to basics” business approach is where the online dating industry began, and we feel that interacting with the clients gives them a much better experience with U4ia. While we don’t officially match make at the site, by being readily accessible to clients, our site provides a hybrid service of dating and matchmaking. In addition, there is an advice column, currently called “AskAnj” that allows members the ability to ask questions, both about the site, and also about relationship oriented topics in general. The goal of U4ia is to expand into dating shop boutiques. We think that a large, general dating site (with different interests in the same package) is difficult to market. We believe that a special interest dating site each with a targeted theme, (such as affairu4ia.com, etc) will be appealing to members. We will have very specific targeted sites, with specialized banner ad real estate, and corresponding affiliate programs. Each of the separate sites will operate from the same database. Each small site will also have its own chat rooms, message boards, video chat, as well as site related products linked through other site affiliate programs. While, our stricter policies and tougher review standards may lead initially to smaller membership numbers, the rate of retention of members will be much higher than similar sites. Our advertising campaigns combined with member referrals will bring consistent and steady membership growth and a dedicated, loyal membership base. Industry Background/Competition Including u4ia.org. there are six serious personal ad internet dating sites. These are One and only.com, Friendfinder, Match.com, Iwantu.com, and Matchmaker.com. All of the other dating sites that are found on the internet are either affiliates of these (with their own front pages) or insignificant sole amateur operators. According to Fortune Magazine, November 1999, the online dating industry generated $300 million during 1998. U4ia.org, with little official advertising, just word of mouth, earned $1300 its first month. Further, in the first months, we have given our members the option to pay or not, since the database is small due to the site’s age. We currently have a disclaimer asking members not to pay unless they've seen another member who they wish to meet. The current membership ranks have two tiers, registered members and full paying members, with full membership allowing contact with other members. Marketing/Advertising We plan to continue to promote the site through chat rooms and advertising on other websites. In addition we will be expanding to offline advertising, primarily in print media. We believe that the best and most cost-effective advertising on the internet is through “affiliate” programs. Amazon.com introduced affiliate programs on the internet and some of the more successful e-commerce superstars have adopted affiliate programs of their own. An affiliate program is an online referral program where other websites and webpages provide a well-positioned and favorably disposed link to u4ia.org. Each time a new paying member is signed up, the “affiliate” receives a referral commission. Well placed affiliate programs can be a tremendous traffic driver, and by including our affiliate program with our advertising plan, we believe that having up to 5,000 sites linked to our database will have a dramatic effect on inc...